Residents in Glenview are fed up with dangerous traffic conditions on Park Blvd and have been requesting a road diet on Park Blvd with safer pedestrian crosswalks and new bike lanes. Parents regularly shout at drivers who don’t slow down or yield to parents with their kids walking across Park Blvd to Edna Brewer Middle School and Glenview Elementary School. It’s gotten so bad that some of Edna Brewer Middle School’s volunteer crossing guards won’t go out in the street to stop traffic, for fear of their own lives. And there are only five adult staff at Edna Brewer who can help, but they have many other things to do to get ready for the school day.
“Traffic has always been a priority and a concern at Edna Brewer Middle School, and the safety of our kids extends beyond the classroom and includes how kids get to school safe and ready to learn,” said Aubrey Layne, new Principal at Edan Brewer Middle School.
At the Traffic Safety Committee of the Glenview Neighbors Association Mtg on August 18, Oakland Public Works provided an update on improvements to date and planned future improvements.
- new crosswalk with shark teeth yield symbols have been paint on Park Blvd and on Beaumont Ave at Edna Brewer Middle School, along with high-visibility signage reminding motorist to yield
- police enforcement, while scarce, has been present and more is requested when school resumes this Fall
- a grant request has been submitted for $1.6 million to reconfigure the intersection of Park Blvd/13th St/38th St, in front of Edna Brewer Middle School. Oakland should hear this Fall if it is awarded this grant from the State Active Transportation Program
- new Measure BB monies will fund a Rapid Flashing Beacon at 13th Ave and Chatham Rd, to help students coming from the west side of 580 safely cross MacArthur Blvd corridor. This new flashing light is considered 95% effective at getting drivers to yield. Staff expect to have the new flashing lights installed this school year
- a road diet is the permanent solution to traffic safety on Park Blvd. The proposed road diet will take Park Blvd down to two travel lanes, one in each direction and add bike lanes. On-street parking will remain. There may be sections of Park Blvd where 4 travel lanes are kept to maintain traffic flow, most likely in the Glenview Commercial District and around 580.
- Support for a road diet include local schools, including Glenview Elementary School, Edna Brewer Middle School, Cleveland Elementary School and Buena Vista Elementary School, the Lake Merritt Business Association and numerous neighbors in the Glenview.
- Oakland has now brought a consulting team on board to do a traffic feasibility study on Park Blvd for its entire length, to study what traffic changes would result from removing a travel lane in each direction. The traffic study will take at least one year to complete.
- If the traffic study results are favorable, then Oakland will move forward to identifying funding to complete new roadway designs and build out a safer, more livable street redesign for Park Blvd. This entire process will most likely take three years. So let’s set a deadline of 2018 to have Park Blvd returned to its residents.
- Meanwhile, Oakland is taking a look at doing a separate road diet project with bike lanes on the upper end of Park Blvd, above Liemert and along Dimon Canyon. This stretch of Park Blvd is known to only need two travel lanes, as the City learned during a construction project several years ago when one lane in each direction was closed down for a 2-year repair project of the retaining walls along Park Blvd.
- Note: the part of Park Blvd above 580 will most likely be reconfigured as a separate project from the part of Park Blvd below 580. The traffic study will include both parts, but because the upper part is more steep and includes a curbed median, it creates different design opportunities.